Yesterday (Jul 1), a group of Bangkokians held a peaceful gathering at Ratchaprasong intersections to send a message against the recent attacks on activists in Thailand.
The protesters raised signs reading slogans such as “Stop harassing activists” and “Stop attacking people with different opinions” in both Thai and English.
Around 15-20 people gathered around candles lit up on the floor. There was no shouting or parading, and the protest lasted from 6-8pm, with police officers standing close by without interfering.
On Jun 28, one of Thailand’s most prolific political student activists, Sirawith “Janew” Seritiwat, was physically attacked near his home in Kannayao in broad daylight by four men with weapons. Janew was left unconscious with a fractured nose and skull, as well as blood coming from his eyes. He was admitted to ICU straight away.
It was the second attack on Janew in a month. Eyewitnesses said the four attackers were aiming for his head.
Thailand has experienced a visible increase on violence against political activists recently. Not too long before this incident, another activist named Anurak “Ford” Jeantawanicha was attacked on May 25 after he had announced on Facebook that he was planning a protest against the military cheating during the election.
He told Al Jazeera, "There were six men with black metal pipes hitting me all over. It was impossible to defend myself. They must view me as an enemy."
Ekkachai Hongkangwan, another activist, was also recently attacked and left with a broken wrist and ribs.
Ekkachai is famously known for trying to give Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan a cheap Seiko watch back in January this year [read our interview with him here], after Prawit was exposed for wearing luxury watches with an estimated combined value of US$1.5 million. Ekkachai also had his car set on fire back in April this year.
Nobody has come out to claim responsibility for the attack.